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Star Wars: Galaxies - An Empire Divided: Game Info, Guides (Back to contents)

Basic Scout Guide
By Ekim (Eekim Ve'loo, Chilastra)

This guide is for those who want to pursue an early life as a scout, or if the Scout profession will be detrimental to your early career. I will try to guide you best depending on the kind of scout you want to be, whether you wish to attain the level of Master Scout, or even if only one skill line interests you to complement another profession. Bear in mind that some things may change in the near future. If there are errors that you think need to be corrected, please let me know so I can make the appropriate changes.

Character Creation
As with any other profession, SWG allows you to combine any race with any career choice. Of course, certain races are more appropriate than others though. Depending on the type of Scout you wish to be, certain races might be more fitting. Any race will make a good scout, but three stand out for having bonuses that are directly related to a Scout’s skill set:

Bothans are known to be good spies. Because of that, Bothans start out with a +15 bonus to their Camouflage skill. This skill can become very important to gaining extra Scouting XP when you most need it, and only those with relatively high camouflage skills will be able to pull off any kind of decent XP out of masking their scent from aggressive wild animals. The explorer type of player will mostly benefit from using a Bothan since their Mask Scent ability will be above average compared to all other races, and only Bothans will be able to reliably use this ability before reaching Mastery.

Trandoshans have a natural advantage over other races when it comes to creature harvesting (+10 bonus). This won’t necessarily help a scout get more XP than others, but it will enable him/her to yield more material of better quality than others, which may sell a little better on the market. Those who plan to play self-sufficient Artisans that will harvest their own kills might do better with Trandoshans than others. Or, if you will be a brawler that needs a little sideline selling resources, Trandoshan will be a good choice.

Wookies have an undeniable affinity at using traps. Starting with a +10 bonus to their trapping ability, which means that a they will have better chance of successfully hitting creatures with their traps, thus making them more efficient at gaining XP with their traps. Players that will take a more warrior-like role and need some scouting skill might be better off choosing the Wookie race. Or for someone that plans on taking the Creature Handler Elite profession later on, the Wookie’s Taming bonus will combine well with the scout profession.

Again, don’t worry too much as far as choosing a race is concerned. Anything will work well enough. Only if you plan on going a certain way about your character development, it might be a good choice to review the races I just went through and choose one of these. If you plan on leaning towards the Ranger Elite profession, I would strongly suggest choosing the Bothan though. The Camouflage bonus will give you an incredible advantage when it comes time to gain extra Scouting XP, which you will need a whole lot of later on.

Scouting 101
Scouting consists of 3 different and independent pools of experience points (XP) groups which will govern 4 skills: Exploration, Trapping, Hunting, and Survival. The XP groups govern the skills as follows:

XP Type Related Skill(s)
Scouting XP Exploration, Hunting
Trapping XP Trapping
Wilderness Survival XP Survival

The actions required to gain the XP for each of these groups are:

Scouting XP
  • Harvesting organic materials from the corpses of animals killed by the scout or any of his/her group mates
  • Successfully masking his/her scent from aggressive animals in detection range (this skill is gained by advancing to the second tier of the Exploration skill line – Exploration II).

Trapping XP
  • Successfully throwing and triggering a trap at an animal during combat.

Wilderness Survival XP
  • Setting up a camp in the wild and spending time in it to heal (alone or with others).

Lets look at each individual skill lines:

As you progress through the Exploration Skill line, you will get better at negotiating terrain, hiding from aggressive creatures, and getting more out of your burst run ability (although I myself am not quite sure what the Burst Speed bonuses do exactly). Terrain Negotiation will help you get up steep slopes faster than other people. Someone without any kind of bonuses will negotiate slopes very slowly. At the higher skill levels of the Exploration line, a scout will notice almost no change in speed when he goes up the steepest slopes.

The Mask scent ability, which is gained once you have attained Exploration II, can become quite a wonderful second source of Scouting XP, but only once you reach Exploration III and IV (if you are a Bothan, that is). This ability should never be relied upon to get Scouting XP though. It will only be beneficial to some extent, and may provide a nice complement to the harvesting return.
The novice scout should first concentrate on this skill line, especially if you are planning more of an Explorer type of Scout. If only because it grants you a second source of Scouting XP down the road, while the Hunting Skill line does not.

The Hunting skill line will serve two general purposes: to know more about the animals that you hunt, and to make you better at harvesting resources from their corpses. As you go up in the skill you will be granted bonuses to your Creature Knowledge and Creature Harvesting abilities. The higher your Creature Knowledge is, the more information you can get out of examining animals. At the highest levels you will be able to tell what kind of resources the animal will drop when dead, its level of aggressivity (more aggressive creatures tend to come in packs rather than on their own when attacked), and if it has the ability to kill you.

Some of this information might be vital down the road, but it is not essential right away. Although the creature Harvesting bonuses will certainly prove to be quite good since it will enable you to yield more resources out of animals, a novice scout can certainly still do well without the benefit of these bonuses until later on in his life. I started really concentrating on this skill line only after I reached Exploration IV. By then you might have a little easier time getting that Scouting XP, and traveling around hilly regions will be less of a pain, so it would be a good idea to wait.
But for those who wish to complement their warrior skills, the Hunting line goes a long way in helping you choose your prey (as far as animals are concerned) and give good returns on resources that can be sold or used for crafting.

Since Trapping has its own dedicated XP, Gaining mastery of this skill should not be a problem to anyone. You will be granted the ability to make new, more powerful traps as you gain more skill, and every trap can be used on a single animal to gain lots of XP. You cannot use the same trap twice on an animal, but you can use all of your different traps successively to gain XP every time. And since some traps complement each other rather well (you can first throw a trap that will make the animal more vulnerable to stuns, then throw a stunning trap to better effect), you can easily gain as much as 180 to 300 Trapping XP per animal!

Wilderness Survival is the most difficult skill to advance in, and is usually the one that’s the most disputed for among groups. This skill has two main bonuses attached to it: Foraging and camping. Foraging is an ability to forage the ground for organic materials (food). Most of the time foraging will give you some kind of food that grant temporary bonuses to your attributes. While it can be nice to have them, foraging is not essential to a Scout’s life. Also, since foraging does not grant additional Survival XP (or any other kind of XP for that matter), it will usually be useless, unless you start a little side job as a foods dealer (good luck!) or use the food yourself. Creature Handlers need this food to feed their pets, by the way.

On the other hand camping is not only a very beneficial skill, but it is also essential to a scout. Building camps out in the wild can heal wounds over time, and allow medics to do so without having to be in a medical center. Entertainers can also provide with their skills in camps, and heal mind wounds (battle fatigue needs to be healed in cantinas though, and cannot be taken care of in camps…). Camps will give out a certain amount of XP depending on three things primarily: 1) How long the camp has been up and used, 2) The type of camp you are using (Basic camps, Multiperson camps), and 3) the number of people that use your camp while it is up, as well as how long they stayed in it.

Camps will give out their maximum amount of XP if you remain in them for approximately 30 minutes (or slightly more) by yourself. If others join in, the XP will reach it’s full XP reward much quicker than that. A bigger group of people could not only reach it more quickly, but also give even more XP.

It’s always a good idea to camp whenever you have an opportunity to, even if you are alone. The fact that you will need a whopping 20,000 Wilderness Survival XP to get from level III to IV will justify this before long. To get the most out of your camps, you will need to group, and that’s where it gets complicated. Since this particular skill is so popular, almost everyone has it. It’s not something rare to be in a group with most members having this skill. Sometimes 4 or 5 people will want to be the ones to put up camp. It can be frustrating to have to wait for your turn, especially if you are the only one to be the a real scout, or the only one interested in Mastering it.

There’s no elegant solution to this. You can always resort to going about it alone, but it will take a tremendous amount of time, and it could get frustrating. Most groups will diplomatically assign turns to those who want to be the ones to put camp, but that solution can be disappointing in bigger groups.

Otherwise there is no secret to gaining Survival XP. Build camps, invite friends or passersby, and collect your reward.

Life as a scout
A scout’s life will consist of much hunting. Hunting will be your livelihood, your bread and butter. The best way to gain some Scouting XP will be to get some Destroy missions at any given terminals. Make sure that you select missions that deal with animals though. Remember that you can’t harvest anything out of humanoids or droids.

A Scout can make some money on the side by selling the hides, bones or meat that he harvests from his hunts. But he has to be mindful of the widely varying qualities of the resources that he harvests. Some artisans will seek materials with very specific qualities, like high shock resistance for instance. Anything gathered that is of low quality should be used for your own needs, or completely cast aside.

When hunting for resources that you’ll be selling, try to stick with animals of the same type, so that you’ll get a constant quality, and to get a good bundle of the same resources. I usually try to have at least 500 units of a resource before selling it. Anything below that will not be worth much to artisans as they go up the skill ladder. Consider that a young Bio-Engineer may need as much as 50 units of meat per creature that he crafts, and you will understand better why he won’t buy your measly stack of 200 units of meat for 1000 credits. He will want more, and he will want good quality, so think about it before stacking your resources for sale.

Buy yourself a good backpack to put your harvested resources in so they won’t take up too much space in your inventory, and go out to hunt! Hunting will be your primary source of XP, harvesting every little creature you come across, and camping in between to heal your wounds and craft yourself some traps. As a scout you will be extremely self-sufficient and will be able to do very well on your own, as long as you have some marksman skills. I recommend concentrating on the pistol since it’s better at close range. Once you get better, you may choose to try out the carbine since you will be able to keep your distance from your enemies by using traps and your mask scent. Creatures will take longer before charging at you if you are lying prone and have your mask scent up after you start shooting at them. Use this advantage to kill them from greater distances without them ever coming near you.

One last note. The scout profession is one of the most popular ones out there, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding players to train you at much lower costs than the NPC trainers. Don’t hesitate to ask people to teach you. Good luck!

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